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Spiritual Solution Of Our Present Problems

In different places at different times thinking men have wrestled with the question of man’s real nature. But it was here in India that they arrived at the correct answer. Man is not, as the materialists think, a combination of material substances or ‘animated flesh’; he is the death less Spirit. The welfare of the world depends on the recognition of this fact, for it is in the light of its knowledge that we formulate our concepts of right or wrong. These concepts and beliefs determine our character, and our character makes the world what it is.

‘By what is a man impelled to commit sin, as if by force, even against his will?’ This baffling question is examined in the Bhagavad Gita. In answer, the scripture says it is desire, which stems from man’s identification with his psychophysical self, that causes him to forget his spiritual Self and thus fall into sin. Our spiritual Self is the basis of all morality and ethics; our character is determined entirely by our knowledge of it. And it is our character that has the greatest influence on the world.

‘Millions of men today search for an ideal to reintegrate their personalities,’ says Alvin Toffler. Spiritual idealism seems to be the only hope for bringing about the required change. Man’s development remains incomplete unless he becomes introspective and tries to understand the true nature of his soul. Science makes a special study of the outer world; in the process it also gathers much knowledge about man. When its deductions are properly interpreted, they do prove the existence of eternal verities, for, as David Bohm says, ‘Consciousness and matter are just different aspects of the same fundamental something [God]’.

However, spiritual experience is beyond the purview of science. It is attained by quite a different means, such as selfless service, purity of mind, worship of God, prayer and meditation, and observance of ethical and moral principles. In ancient times our sages and seers did considerable research on the subject. Going beyond the limits of the conscious and unconscious mind they discovered the perfect means of attaining spiritual freedom.

The history of the world is witness to the fact that when the balance between spirituality and worldliness is upset, the peace and happiness of human life are undermined. Swami Vivekananda warned us: ‘Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes India will die, in spite of politics, in spite of social reforms, in spite of Kubera’s wealth poured upon the head of everyone of her children. There is no regeneration for India until you be spiritual. The mightiest buildings, if built upon the loose sand foundations of materialism, must come to grief one day, must totter to their destruction some day.’ So Swami Vivekananda wanted that the saving truths confined in our scriptures be brought out and scattered broadcast. Educated people should absorb spiritual ideas and spread the message of religion. That would create a spiritual awareness among the people and infuse them with virtues like selflessness.

Source – Excerpt from article titled ‘The Need for Spiritually Enlightened Citizens’ by Swami Jagadatmananda in Prabuddha Bharata Magazine January 2006 issue.